Tag Archives: Daniel

God Determined Our Steps

This past week, we were able to return to Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu, India; where Jeremiah visited on his last adventure here in India.  Jeremiah was stoked to be able to finally go.  We took rest when we arrived there on Friday after very long and hot bus rides.  We stayed on the second floor, above Pastor Daniel’s church, and one floor below where the girls from the orphanage stay.  On Saturday evening we went to 5 different houses to pray over the families and people of the villages.  Some of these people lived in very small “hut” houses and did not have very much to offer, yet they still gave us something to eat and glorious chai tea.

On Sunday, we attended Pastor Daniel’s church and I got to experience what a real Indian church is like, 5 hours full of clapping and bouncing, loud prayers and Holy Spirit happenings.  Jeremiah preached about tasting the Lord.  Afterwards we prayed for everyone in the church and I was part of a deliverance of a woman who was afflicted by something I could not understand due to language barriers; but I was really challenged to seek the Lord for more discernment when it comes to those type of things.  That evening, we went to two different leper colonies and I spoke about the compassionate love of the Father; we fed them and Jeremiah and I laid hands on and prayed over them.

Visit at Leper Colony

Visit at Leper Colony

I knew it would be difficult for me going there and seeing these people’s lives and bodies being rotted away through the death sentence the enemy has placed on them.  Even then, I was overwhelmed with compassion, as I read so much that Jesus was, and filled with faith that God would bring healing to them.  We did not see anything physically happen when we prayed over them, but so many of them asked for prayer and I believe that God touched them and will continue ministering to their hearts, bodies and lives.  Afterwards, we went to a street corner where there were some homeless people gathered.  I spoke again on God’s love, we sang some songs, and we fed them and prayed over them.

VIsit at Leper Colony

VIsit at Leper Colony

Jeremiah and I were very excited when we found out that we were going to be teaching at the first YWAM DTS in Dharmapuri during the week.  This DTS is all local natives to the surrounding area, except for a few staff members that are from a different state.  These 16 students, some families, are going on their outreach in three weeks to Sri Lanka and Malaysia, however, a few of them are having issues with getting their visas and passports, some due to finances, so please be in prayer for them that God would provide all they need so that they can be sent out to these needy nations.

We felt that God was calling us to talk about missions throughout the week.  On Monday, we talked about original design vs worldly thinking.  Our original design is who God made us to be apart from sin, but the enemy through the ways of the world tries to separate us from the truth of who God says we are.  I taught them the 4 R’s: Repent (Confessing the sin of believing the lie – Acts 3:19), Receive (Receiving God’s forgiveness and asking Him to fill you with more Holy Spirit – Psalm 103:8-12) , Rebuke (Rebuke the enemy’s grasp on you because of the sin – James 4:7), Replace (Declaring the sin as dead and “paid for” and asking God to come and flood your heart and mind with Truth and empowerment to walk it out – Galatians 2:20.)  We then took them through breaking the chains of the past, negative self-image, and false humility; and broke them into groups so they could all ask the Lord for each other’s original design.  Great blessings came from this!

Jeremiah Teaching at DTS

Jeremiah Teaching at DTS

On Tuesday, Jeremiah talked about waiting for the word, promises and call of the Lord.  I shared on counting the cost and taught primarily from Luke 14:25-30, which talks about the cost of being a disciple.  Afterward, I had them ask God for 2 promises for the present time and 2 promises for the future and to write it down, as instructed by God through Habakkuk 2:2-3: “This is what the Lord said to me, ‘Write My answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.  This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed.’”  On Wednesday, Jeremiah shared on faith and perseverance out of Hebrews 11 and faith without conditions.  I taught about fear of the Lord vs fear of man and told some of my testimony of how bound up I was in every type of fear there is and how God set me free. I also taught out about unbelief out of Mark 16:9-18 and how unbelief can hinder us from receiving the promises of Jesus through this passage.  Then we took them through the 4 R’s again and broke off fear and unbelief.  There was so much freedom and fruit brought forth this night!!!

On Friday, Jeremiah taught on bearing fruit out of Luke 8: Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seeds, avoiding burnout, and planting seeds.  I talked about the importance of the secret place (Psalm 132:1-5) and how intimacy fuels missions (Luke 10:38-42).  It was obvious by the time we left Dharmapuri that we were sent there for reasons other than what we had in mind.  From the fruit that was brought forth through teaching at the DTS, we see we went there for that seed planting. Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  At times we can be so set in our plans, but God has the ultimate plan.  So be encouraged that even when things might not go our way, God’s way brings forth far greater fruit and blessings than our way ever could!

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!

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The Cost of Commitment

I shared in the previous post the message of the Call to Commitment that we as followers of Christ are called to walk in.  After I delivered this word to the church, the Holy Spirit came upon me in a powerful way.  As I sat there, He began to speak to me that for the people in the church this message would cost them much more than it would ever cost me.  He said that this would even cost some of the hearers their very lives.  As the Lord spoke this to my heart, I began to cry and be moved in my spirit for the people.

Jeremiah and baby

Here in India, Hinduism is predominant, and Christianity is the minority.  It is legal to be a Christian; however, it is against the law to share your Christian faith.  This being the case, we are international lawbreakers!!!  For us, the worst thing that would happen to us is that we would be deported.  However, the nationals we minister with every day, face much more life changing consequences.  They can be fined, beaten, imprisoned, or even killed in keeping with the law.  This persecution causes the people here to make a complete commitment to Christ every single day fully knowing the cost of their actions.  In America, often we will face the “persecution” of people mocking us, calling us names, saying mean things to us, treating us poorly…  Here, when the people turn from hinduism or islam (both of which are much more prevalent than Christianity) they will be completely disowned from their family and possibly village.  This along with physical persecution causes Indians to truly understand the cost in following Christ before coming to Him.  By the time they are willing to come to Him, they know that there is no turning back and give themselves completely to His service.

In spite of all this persecution, the church in India is growing and thriving in a mighty way.  Too often, in the US, we will make the half-hearted commitment to the Lord and easily turn back from doing the great things for Him that we were all designed to do before we were born.

How would each one of our lives be different if our commitment was true and full; and no matter what happened to us, our families, or our lives, we pressed in and were completely committed and obedient to the Lord???

What would the day to day changes be, in full commitment to Christ, that would cause us to be “persecuted” in our school, work, and even church?

When we seek to be committed to the Lord in such a way, the enemy will come in and try to make us do far less than the great exploits that Daniel spoke about.  The devil will try to use anything he can to keep us from being fully committed and doing great things for the Lord.  These are just three key lies the enemy has used against great men of God to keep them from being used greatly.

3 Lies that Make us Ineffective

  1. Too young (Jeremiah 1:5-10)  Here, Jeremiah buys into the lie that he is too young to do what God is calling him to.  God encourages him that He will be with him and do great things.  The rest of this book proves the great things Jeremiah does when he overcame this lie and committed fully to the Lord.
  2. Past sins that are too horrible (Jonah 3:4-10)  Jonah gets a call from the Lord and simply does not want to do it.  He runs from the Lord, and his heart is so hardened against the Lord that it takes three days in the belly of a fish before it is softened enough to repent.  Jonah grudgingly carries out the command of the Lord and offers a simple eight word proclamation to Nineveh.  As a result, over 120,000 people turn to the Lord and the whole city is saved.  God used him in spite of His unwillingness and blatant disobedience.  In the same way, God can and will use you if you are committed to Him no matter what the past held for you.
  3. Excuses, Excuses (Exodus 3-4)  When God comes and supernaturally speaks to Moses, Moses gives Him any and every excuse that he can come up with. He says “I am nobody,” “I cannot speak,”  and “Use someone else”.  God continues to destroy all of these lies, and Moses is used to free an entire nation of people.

Sadly, people are so steeped in the wisdom of this world that even in the church, they can rely on their own insights and miss the wisdom of the Lord.  When we were preparing to go out on this mission we knew that God had clearly given us a word to “Go”; however, there were many good Christian people that advised against it.  These counselors knew us and wanted the best for us, but I understood later that they had no investment in our lives.  The people that we called to pray and fast with us for a week, all gave us the confirmation that we were to go.  The ones that listened fully to how God had called us and the word that He had spoken to us understood and have encouraged us along the way.  The Lord had called us and we had to choose whether to follow Him in full commitment or to do what made sense.  We do not know yet the full outcome of our obedience, and I pray that we are always able to follow Him in what he calls us to do no matter how others will end up treating us.  In the end, we have been obedient and the Word of God has gone forth.  Whatever things that come from this mission, whether great or not, we know that we have been obedient to the Lord.

I pray that you are encouraged to be committed no matter what the cost may be or the tests that may come.  Whether we are ever tested as the Indians are or not, we must stand as truly committed followers of the Lord no matter what!!!  We are designed to truly carry out great and mighty things.  James 5:17 tells us that Elijah was man just like us.  There is no difference between us and this great man of God.  Wherever he came from and whatever the Lord took him through, he stood the cost of commitment, and God did great things through him.  For us, the choice is the same as every one of these men in the Bible.  Leonard Ravenhill said once that sometimes “the enemy of the best is the good.”  We can do many good things, but if we settle for these because they are easier or require less of a commitment, we are not doing the best that God has for us!!!  You have been created the best, by the Best, for the best!!!  Never settle for only the good, press in for the very best!!! Never back away from your commitment!!!  Always stand for the Lord in every situation!!!

Are you conquering the lies of the enemy that will hold you back from being truly committed to Him?

Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any lie that has caused to you settle for less than the best He has for you.  Examine the cost of following Him into the great things He has for you and ask Him to strengthen you to walk in the very best ways!!!

The promise of the Lord is that if you are completely committed to Him you will be strong; and just like Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Moses, and Elijah, you will do great things!!! 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Call to Commitment

We have now been In India for two weeks, and I have yet to write a blog.  Returning to this beautiful place that I love to do ministry so much has not been different than any of the other previous countries.  Yes, there is more poverty, and this is a third-world country.  Yes, it is illegal to preach Christianity here.  Yes, the conditions are different, but the Spirit of the Gospel is the same and compels us to minister in the same ways, if not more, as we did in all the previous countries.  Counting our ministry in New York City, this is our seventh country to be ministering for the Lord in, and we just hit six months of traveling.  I do not think that anything has been like I expected, but the changes have been even more dramatic for my wife.  This is the main reason that I encouraged her to write the first few blogs.  India is the only third-world country she has ever been to, and the first time she has been in Asia.  The experiences to her are much more new and shocking than they are for me.  All of this being the case, she has written some amazing blogs from a first timer’s perspective.  I pray that you are able to experience this culture that is so different from ours in her unique perspective.

Last weekend, we were told that we would be traveling with Pastor Binny to preach to some youth in a neighboring state.  True to Indian culture, we met up with the pastor about two hours after we originally and planned.  Everything we had been told was not entirely accurate, which is very common here.  After staying the night at his mother’s house, we traveled through some very jungle-ish regions (where we saw many monkeys and were told elephants were often seen) to a small village in Andhra Pradesh where a church was holding Fasting-Prayer.  In India, it is very common, usually weekly, that churches will hold a 24-hour or all-day time where everyone in the church gathers to fast, pray, sing, and be taught.  Most of the people will spend all night and/or day here and then have a community meal afterwards.

Prayer and Fasting Church

With the plans being changed, I was not sure if I would be able to share the message that I knew that God had given me.  First, I shared about God’s ministry that had brought us here, and Katie shared the word that God had been speaking to her for India.  After this, Pastor Binny preached a word on faith.  I thought this was the end of the teaching, but about an hour before the fasting prayer was to finish Pastor Binny invited me to share a message, if I had one.  I was glad to be given the chance to share the Word I knew that God had given me to share.

Prayer Fasting Church

Here is the first part of the message that I spoke to the church, but is just as important to you wherever you are:

God began to speak to me about what made the prophet Daniel able to say at the end of his life that “…the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32).  At this time, Daniel had experienced the greatness of God in so many ways.  He had escaped death many times, slept with lions, watched his friends last through the fire, survived many changes in rulers, and even governing kingdoms.

Holy Spirit revealed to me that the key to why Daniel was able to continue through all these things and make such a bold statement at the end of his life was found in Daniel 1:8 “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…”  Here, the scripture is talking about how Daniel chose at a young age not to eat food offered to idols; however, this revealed his desire was not to be disobedient to the Lord in any way.  This commitment led to Daniel and his friends being tested and later honored.  Both Daniel and his friends would be tested over and over again whether they would keep this commitment or value their own lives, status, power… more.  In spite of everything, they made this commitment and stuck to it.  Because of this, their strengths and great exploits are recorded and still bring encouragement to us today.

Meditating on this, God showed me four things that are keys to complete commitment to the Lord.

4 Keys to Commitment –

  1. Consecrate yourself to the Lord.  All of us start in a state of unholiness and dishonor because of sin.  However, through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven and are brought to a state of righteousness.  We must then chose to walk in a holy way or return to our former fleshly ways of living and thinking.  (When we are cleansed, we become “…vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” 2 Timothy 2:21).  
  2. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).  This does not come naturally, but is a continual progression throughout our entire lives learning to love Him with everything we are, everything within us, and everything we have.  This is in direct opposition to our flesh that wants to please and love only itself.
  3. Stir up the giftings that are within you (2 Timothy 1:6-7).  Timothy is reminded to stir up the giftings within himself.  He is not told to pray for God to stir them up, but to stir them up himself.  He is encouraged to act and use the gifts that he has so that they may grow and be pruned into greater and more powerful ones.  This is evident by how the next verse talks about not fearing, but walking in power, love, and all wisdom.
  4. Be completely obedient in all that you do (Luke 17:5-10).  Here, the apostles ask the Lord to increase their faith.  Jesus responds to them by telling them a story about being obedient servants.  No matter what the size of faith you have, you are able to do great things!!!  However, it is obedience to the Lord that not only causes His power to work through you, but causes you to be given more faith and the ability to do even greater things.

As Followers of Christ, we are called to be committed, changed, and active in each one of these areas, or we will not be fully effective for His Kingdom.  I encourage you to examine your commitment to the Lord.

Are you walking as a fully committed Follower of Christ?  

Are you succeeding in each of these four areas?  

Are you strong and carrying out great exploits for Him? 

Ask Holy Spirit to reveal a few specific ways you can work on one of these areas this week!!!

Pray that the Lord will strengthen you in every area and that you would never settle for less than the very greatest of exploits that God has planned for your life.  I bless you with knowing God, being completely committed to Him, becoming strong and carrying out great exploits for His glory!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Original Heart-Breaker

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Yesterday we went on our first house visit here in India.  Jeremiah and I joined some of the World Race girls that were going to visit Pastor James at his home/church in the slums.  When we arrived there, we were very much welcomed.  The Pastor’s wife began making chai tea (as is usual and much to Jeremiah’s delight) for us and gave us cookies to eat with them.  We were greeted many times by new people that were coming in the room, many were family but many were people who had been with them and been told we were coming.

After Pastor Daniel translated for us the family’s testimony and how they had come there, they sang some worship songs in their language; and the pastor’s son, who is a composer, played the piano with them.  When they had finished their songs, they asked us to sing.  Prior to this day, I had made mention to the people on the team in a conversation that I am a person of all worship and if you want it, I probably have it.  So upon being questioned this, every person seated against the wall, one by one, went down the line looking for someone to lead the worship until all eyes were on me; since none of them were musically gifted.  Possessing the secret knowledge that I taught myself to play the guitar many years ago, and once played in the youth band at church, but have not played in almost two years, I find that all reliance is upon me to share the joys of American worship with these intrigued people.  Since there was only a keyboard there, of which I taught myself chords over one year ago but have no idea how to make it sound pretty, I decided that I would let the gifted ones lead worship by playing some songs from my phone.

After worshipping a little bit, we were offered more chai and biscuits according to the Indian hospitality.  Very quickly, we transitioned into prayer time.  We learned that soon the government will come and bulldoze all of the land in the area and build on it.  The homes that are there have been built on government soil so they are choosing to displace 500 families to attain their desire for expansion.  Pastor James, his family, and the people there are among those being displaced and will soon have no place to go.  Believing that God is a God who answers prayer, we began praying for he and his wife and children.  He has dedicated his life to serving the Lord and helping others come into relationship with Him.  After praying and laying hands on them, I saw that the room was full of people wanting prayer.  One by one, people and families were coming forward desiring prayer.  Jeremiah had told me in the past that here, people are hungry for prayer; and you really are there until you have laid hands on and prayed for every person.  It did not seem as real to me until that moment.  Pastor James kept calling people from other rooms to come in for prayer and they kept coming.  He called in his son’s wife, Rebekah to come and told us that she and his son have been trying to have children for 4 years with no change, and they want prayer that God would see their desire and reward them.  When laying hands on Rebekah and praying for her, I became very overwhelmed with the Spirit and the Father’s heart, to tears.  The Lord really touched my heart in praying for her and I truly believe that the reward of new life will be brought to them.

My heart melted when Pastor James asked another woman to come from one of the rooms.  She came out holding her newborn, 15 day old, baby girl.  She stood in front of me and handed me her daughter.  She wanted prayer for herself and her baby girl that they would have good health and blessings.  From the moment she placed that precious girl into my arms, whatever the Lord had begun doing in me in praying for Rebekah, He just broke me down.  I have never felt so broken when praying over someone before, and I could not contain the tears and sobbing over this beautiful baby.  She had the markings that the doctors or people place on newborns’ heads and hands, marking them for hinduism.  The enemy through that is trying to lay claim to this precious life, but in Jesus name, she belongs to the Lord.  My greatest prayer for her more than health was that the Lord’s hand would be upon her so richly that she would never know a day of her life where He was not with her and Lord over all in her life. Indian Baby When we finished praying for everyone, we had to be dragged out of there to leave because we were so engulfed by the people.  Some followed us outside and one of the elderly gentlemen wanted prayer for the pain in his leg, so Jeremiah and I prayed for him.  Indians passing by in the street were flocking to Jeremiah and I shaking our hands, wanting pictures, and talking to us.  I realized when looking back at this all, what it must have been like when Jesus went to villages and vast crowds followed Him, even if it meant searching everywhere until they found Him.  On the way back to the house, I was so undone over what the Lord had done in my heart in being in an area where there was nothing but desperation in the people, that I cried the whole way back.  The words that kept scrolling through my minds was how the Bible says over and over again that ‘Jesus was moved to compassion’, ‘Jesus wept’, ‘Jesus felt sorry for them’, ‘Jesus was amazed.’  I see now that this is the lifestyle that He lived, and the lifestyle He calls each one of His believers to follow, a life of brokenness for His people.  I truly know now how I am to live the rest of my life, moved to compassion and ever-increasing brokenness.

The Apostle Paul said that ‘the love of Christ compelled him to go places he never thought he would go and to do things he never thought he would do’.  Has the love of Christ touched your heart to the degree that you would count the cost and live a life of radical abandonment, being a laid-down lover for Jesus?  Would you be willing to leave everything behind, when He calls you, and to follow Jesus wherever He takes you and to whomever He brings you?  This was the life of Jesus’ disciples, and if we are true followers of Him, our lives can be no different!

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh!!!